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Forbes

Forbes reporter Amy Feldman spotlights MIT startup Ginkgo Bioworks, which aims to “design, modify and manufacture organisms to make existing industrial processes cheaper and entirely new processes possible.” Feldman notes that the promise of synthetic biology is “not just a proliferation of new products, but also a reduction of the environmental harm that comes from our heavy reliance on petrochemicals.”

New York Times

In an article for The New York Times about how scientists are developing new ways to treat disease using bacteria, Carl Zimmer highlights how MIT startup Synlogic is developing what could be the first FDA-approved synthetic biology-based medical treatment for a disease called phenylketonuria.

Boston Herald

Boston Herald reporter Jordan Graham writes about Ori, a Media Lab spinout that aims to make apartments more functional and spacious through the use of robotic furniture. Founder and CEO Hasier Larrea, an MIT alumnus, explains that by using technology and robotics, “you can make a 300-square-foot apartment be much more functional than a traditional static 400-square-foot apartment.”

TechCrunch

This year, MIT’s Global Startup Workshop (GSW), a student-run “conference on innovation and technology,” will take place in Bangkok, writes Jon Russell of TechCrunch. “We’ve been focusing more on emerging markets because it’s such an exciting space to be in and it’s a space where GSW can have the most impact,” said graduate student and organizer Juan Ruiz Ruiz.

Forbes

MIT spinout Ginkgo Bioworks has not only maintained its founding members, but also recently raised $275 million from investors, writes Matthew Herper for Forbes. Herper predicts that excitement surrounding synthetic biology companies will continue because “private money is getting excited about the idea of designing biology.” 

Inside Higher Ed

A study by MIT researchers shows that physical proximity can increase collaboration, reports Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed. The researchers examined thousands of papers and patents stemming from MIT research and found that “paper collaborators in the same workspace were three times more likely to work together than those located 400 meters apart.”

WBUR

Prof. Phillip Sharp speaks with WBUR’s Asma Khalid about how the Greater Boston area became a hub for the biotech industry. "I think one of the transformative parts of what the next 20 years will hold is engineering with medicine and biotech," Sharp explains, adding that he thinks the Greater Boston area is “ahead of that story."

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes about MIT spinout Open Water Power, which developed a battery that can be powered by seawater. Hays writes that the, “technology promises to extend the range and capabilities of unpiloted underwater vehicles, or UUVs.”

WBUR

In an article about food allergies for WBUR’s Bostonomix site, Rachel Zimmerman spotlights the Nima gluten tester, a portable device developed by two MIT graduates that can detect gluten in foods within minutes. The device “can detect gluten in concentrations as low as 20 parts per million,” Zimmerman explains. 

Bloomberg News

President L. Rafael Reif speaks with Cory Johnson of Bloomberg TV about The Engine, a new entity from MIT to support startups tackling humanity’s biggest problems. Reif explains that our innovation ecosystem is geared toward maximizing profits, "but we have a lot of innovation and ideas that are to maximize societal impact and those ought to find a way to the marketplace.”

Boston Globe

MIT’s new enterprise, called The Engine, is aimed at supporting startups in research-heavy fields, writes Curt Woodward for The Boston Globe. “We see the opportunity for MIT to start this process and really make a huge difference in driving down the cost of innovation in hard technology and science,” notes Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer.

New York Times

In an article for The New York Times, Maria Konnikova writes that in his new book, Tim Hartford cites MIT’s Building 20 as an example of how autonomy and flexibility can inspire creativity and new innovations. Konnikova writes that Building 20 “gave rise to some of the best ideas of the 20th century.”

CNN

CNN reporter Katie Pisa spotlights alumnus Obinna Ukwuani’s dedication to opening a STEM school in Nigeria. Ukwuani says he was inspired by his time in Nigeria after years of studying in the U.S. "In the U.S., if you work hard, you'll be fine in this life. So I had that moment where I knew I wanted to improve things in Nigeria."

Popular Science

CSAIL researchers have developed a device that can determine emotion by analyzing reflections from wireless signals bounced off the human body, writes Mary Beth Griggs for Popular Science. “Because it can measure heart rate, it might also be a less invasive way for doctors to monitor patient's heartbeats, potentially watching for conditions like arrhythmias,” writes Griggs. 

The Washington Post

Brian Fung writes for The Washington Post that MIT spinoff nuTonomy has launched a self-driving car service in Singapore. Following nuTonomy’s pilot program in Singapore “the company may be able to quickly transfer what it learns to other places where it's currently conducting studies, such as London and Michigan,” suggests Fung.